Avoid the dull dozen: Get shiny hair

Shiny hair has a cuticle that’s naturally smooth and flat. It’s plumped up with water and it’s rich in natural oils that keep the whole cuticle “glued” together. Unfortunately, you’re stealing shine from your hair every day and you probably don’t even realize it. If you want fabulous gloss, you should avoid these twelve mistakes that can rob hair of shine, or as we like to call them, the Dulling Dozen.

Woman with shiny hair

1Flood damage

Even “harmless” water can be a shine stealer. That’s because too much moisture swells the hair shaft and causes the cuticle to buckle. The more frequently you wet your hair, the less shine you’re likely to have.

2Shampoo scrubbing

Scrubbing bubbles seem cute but that rub-a-dub-dub lifts the cuticle even more. Using a conditioning shampoo can help because the hair shafts won’t snag against each other when you’re lathering up.

3Careless underconditioning

OK, we don’t all need to condition every time we wash our hair, but if your hair is dry to begin with, it’s much more likely to be damaged during and after styling if you skip conditioner. You’re just giving shine away!

4Death by towel-drying

So now your hair is wet. What do you do? Blot, don’t rub! A rough towel can cause an amazing amount of damage to wet hair.

5The brush-off

Don’t fall for that old myth that you should brush your hair 100 strokes every night. While brushing does temporarily help by distributing natural oils, in the long run it strips off layers of cuticle and weakens hair.

6Hot-styling appliances

Heat is the natural enemy of shine. That’s because high temperatures damage the natural lipids (fancy word for oils) that help keep hair flexible and shiny. If you do decide to heat-style, use protection, like the silicone-containing TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer spray.

7Protective product residue

Yes, you do need to use heat protection, but be careful what you wish for. Some leave-in creams and gels leave behind a dulling residue.

8Color my world

Chemical coloring is very damaging because it breaks down the inner structure of hair protein. Even if you use the special conditioner that comes with the coloring kit, your hair never fully recovers.

9Wave bye-bye

Permanent waving is another chemical process that’s highly damaging. It can dry out your hair completely and leave you with fried ends and frizziness. Try to stay away from it so you can keep your hair healthy.

10Twist and shout

Twisting and playing with your hair is a dangerous habit as far as shine is concerned. That’s because the torsional forces (fancy word for twisting and bending) loosen the cuticles.

11I dig a pony

Wearing your hair in a ponytail may seem like a hassle-free style, but if you pull it back too tightly, you may be creating microfractures in the hair that will reflect light unevenly and cause loss of shine.

12Here comes the sun

With the sun comes damaging UV radiation that can wreak havoc on natural hair lipids like 18-methyl eicosanoic acid. Without these lipids, hair dulls quickly. If you can’t stay out of the sun, make sure you’re protecting your hair with a good conditioner.

Excerpted from: Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm? Top Cosmetic Scientists Answer Your Questions about the Lotions, Potions and Other Beauty Products You Use Every Day From the Creators of THEBEAUTYBRAINS.COM (Harlequin /March 2011)

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